No more doomscrolling? Why People Choose To Quit Social Media – National – .

No more doomscrolling? Why People Choose To Quit Social Media – National – .

Do you often find yourself doomscrolling on Facebook, spending too much time on Instagram, and watching TikTok videos for endless hours? You’re not alone.

As social media apps continue to consume everyday life, more and more users are re-evaluating their time on online platforms. And there is a further setback after damning testimony earlier this month from former Facebook employee Francis Haugen who says the company’s products harm children and fuel polarization.

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In recent years, several prominent celebrities have either temporarily disabled their social media accounts or have chosen to log out permanently for various reasons.

Because these platforms are designed to hold people’s attention, abstaining can be an “uphill battle,” experts say.

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“This is what we call the attention economy,” said Shana MacDonald, professor of communications at the University of Waterloo.

“They’ve built their platforms to make sure we spend as much time as possible on the platform,” she told Global News.

“This is how they make money, because they can serve ads and also collect data on how we use their platforms, which earns them more money. “

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Despite the addiction, concerns about privacy, sanity, and the flood of misinformation are some of the factors that motivate users to log out completely, MacDonald said.

A Statistics Canada report released in March 2021 showed that among all social media users aged 15 to 64, 19% reported losing sleep, 22% reported less physical activity, and 18% had find it difficult to concentrate on their tasks. or activities due to their use of social media.

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About one in eight users also reported feeling anxious or depressed, frustrated or angry, or envious of other people’s lives, according to the StatsCan study which analyzed a 2018 survey.

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A majority of Canadians (88%) believe social media companies should do more to prevent or remove hate and racism messages from their platforms, according to a 2020 Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

A more recent online poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies this month found that 40 percent of Canadians had a negative opinion of Facebook.

The vast majority also agreed that Facebook amplifies hate speech, helps spread fake news, harms individuals’ mental health, and poses a risk to children and teens.

For those aware of the negative impact, the decision to say no entirely is akin to an “abstinence-based internet sobriety program,” said University of Waterloo media professor Aimee Morrison. social.

“Some people can have a drink and some people can check Facebook twice a day, but other people find that their own behaviors are problematic and that the best way to fix it is to leave the site completely,” he said. she declared.

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Celebrities who have disconnected

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have not been active on social media since the publication of their last post on their official Instagram account in March 2020.

In a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex detailed her mental health and the impact on her time with the Royal Family and the target of negative press.

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Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone stopped using her Twitter account after it was hacked in 2012. In an interview with Elle magazine in 2018, she said “it wouldn’t be a positive thing for me.”

“If people can handle this kind of exit and entry into the social media realm, the power is theirs. “

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are both inactive on social media

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are both inactive on social media.

THE CANADIAN PRESS / AP, Richard Shotwell / Invision

In March 2021, French football legend Thierry Henry, who has millions of Instagram and Twitter followers, said he was quitting social media to protest online racial abuse and bullying which he said are not regulated.

“The sheer volume of racism, intimidation and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore,” the former Arsenal forward said. “There has to be some accountability. “

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Other celebrities who boycotted social media include British actress Keira Knightley, New Zealand singer Lorde and Canadian actors Ryan Gosling and Keanu Reeves.

How to manage the use of social media

Despite being an avid social media user herself, Morrison says if people think services aren’t of value to them, then splitting up might be the right way to go.

“If people want to stay, more power for you, and if people want to leave it, I think that’s a very bearable decision,” she said.

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However, Professor MacDonald believes that instead of getting rid of apps altogether, people can put “healthy limits” on their use of social media.

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“Especially in children… as they develop their identity it is important for them to have a wide variety of interactions and social contexts… so social media should be quite limited. “

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Setting aside hours without a phone can be a useful strategy to limit your screen time, Morrison said.

“You can put a real live alarm clock in your bedroom and plug your phone in the kitchen before you go to bed so you won’t be tempted to scroll through the night,” she said.

Users can also set reminders on their phone for the time they want to spend on a particular app, closing it when the timer goes off.

“There are a number of ways, ranging from total abstinence, like putting your phone in a safe… or just trying to find ways that make it less easy for you to pick up your phone and behave like you do. try to stop. ”

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– With files from the Canadian Press, Associated Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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